[Wikimedia-l] WikiFundi (was Re: [Wikimedia Announcements] [PRESS RELEASE] Wikimedia Foundation and Kiwix partner to grow offline access to Wikipedia)
I would like to point out that the below statement is possibly slightly
misleading. So please allow me to point out that in Anne sentence below:
"The WikiFundi team has been working on the product for a couple of
years now, with support from WMF and the Orange Foundation."
the "WikiFundi team" is actually NOT Kiwix. The "editor" of WikiFundi is
"Wiki in Africa" :)
And actually, the first version of WikiFundi was NOT based on Kiwix at
all. Back then, I asked Emmanuel to actually work on WikiFundi V1, due
to his experience, but the software was based on MediaWiki, not on Kiwix
at all; also, at version 1 release, the Kiwix association did not exist
yet... Emmanuel invoiced his time directly, as an individual.
However, for version 2, the Kiwix association was born, and we (Wiki in
Africa) asked help from the Kiwix association to do the technical
management. Aside from the tech management, the WikiFundi project
directly benefit from various elements developped as part of the Kiwix
project the past year.
In my perspective, we (Wiki in Africa) clearly benefit from a stronger
and more reliable Kiwix association.
Teemu, you are right that we should never consider people from the
offline world as merely readers, but should try as hard as we can to get
them become writers.
This is why I conceived WikiFundi. When Isla and I were working with
some new african wikipedians, or when working in schools and libraries
over there, or when organizing edit-a-thons in cultural centers or
museums, we run MANY times into the situation where the internet was
down, or missing, or unstable. That was very frustrating. Hence the idea
of having a plateform that could help bridge the gap between online and
This is by no means a perfect solution, but a solution that help go into
the right direction.
There are ongoing discussions to set up asynchronized systems that would
automatically collect (when possible...) content written offline to
transfer them on an intermediary server, from which we could populate
the online wikis. It sound super complicated I fear. But at the moment,
our best shot is to *train* the future users and make it possible for
them to write content collaboratively on offline plateforms.